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No “how to” article or “top finance book” contains a secret formula to help you.
The good news is that you can start saving more by adopting better habits. But this will take time.
I’m no expert, but I went from a negative net worth to 45K in less than 4 years. Reading books and blogs helped (somewhat), but the real progress came from within. I had to change many bad habits.
We all have money stories holding us back from our true potential. But, with the right mindset, you can drastically improve your finances.
If you’re done procrastinating, here’s your no-bs guide on how to start saving more.
Discover People’s Money Story
There’s a story holding you back; you need to change this.
How? By asking friends and family about their beliefs about money.
This doesn’t need to be an awkward conversation. Ask these money questions to others casually. For example, ask your friends money questions when you’re all having a few drinks.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What does money mean to you?
- Do you have a lot of debt to pay off?
- Did your parents teach you how to manage your money?
It’s best to ask others who you know are good at managing their money, but any information can help. If friends in bad financial situations have similar beliefs about money–this is a sign you should change similar habits. But, consider adopting habits from people managing their money well.
Other alternatives include listening to other podcasts sharing people’s money stories. But asking others for their money stories is more effective since you’d be more involved. Once you’ve heard enough stories, you’ll realize why you’ve had trouble saving all along.
Ask Questions To Unleash Your Motivation To Save Money
“When you come to understand your “why”, you will figure out your way…”–Alden Mills
It’s easy to get lost in figuring out how something works.
Whether it’s saving money or building a business–people often obsess with the “how.” I know because I’ve done this in the past. But, the secret to saving more money is having a strong “why.”
Knowing why you’re doing something will make you feel like nothing can stop you. You may even feel like you’ve reached your goal at times when you have a strong purpose. Take time and think about what’s motivating you to save money.
Do you want to quit your job and focus on building your business? Do you want financial peace, not worrying about getting laid off? Your “why” is personal to you and will determine how persistent you’d be at saving money.
Jot down your “why” in a journal to track it daily. Now when you’re tempted to spend your money, use your “why” as your secret weapon to staying laser-focused.
You Need More Than Motivation To Save Money
Knowing your “why” can help you immensely, but alone, it’s not enough.
This is like having a passion for building a successful business without a plan. It’s not going to happen.
Make you “why” SMART. For example, if you want to stop worrying about getting fired–set a goal to save $10K within one year. Now you can work backward to make sure to meet this goal.
Most entrepreneurs use a journal to track their goals, but you can use a spreadsheet. Or rely on personal finance tools like Personal Capital. Whatever helps you stay focused on reaching your financial goals is the right answer.
Another resource that can help you stay motivated is a vision board. This can be a collection of images to help you feel confident about reaching your goal. Get intentional and see what you’re capable of.
How To Save With No Money
Sometimes saving money is out of the question.
You’re left with $50-$100 you’d use for food and gas when you pay all your bills.
How do you save in these harsh circumstances?
Use your bad circumstances to your advantage. I remember being broke while in college, with little to no money left to buy anything but food and gas. I kept telling reminding myself this would only be temporary.
Do your best to do something similar. Whatever circumstance you’re facing, know it’s temporary. Trim your expenses to the bone and focus on saving as much as possible.
Invest in yourself as much as possible and focus on improving your situation as best you can. There are countless stories of people who had little and built massive wealth. View building wealth as a journey.
Currently, you’re not a person who can save and earn a high income. But, if you work on building the right habits, you’ll grow into this person.
Resist Temptation Using The 30-Day Rule
Often we buy things we later regret.
Don’t believe me?
Log in to your Amazon account or check your bank’s account statement. Review all the purchases you’ve made during the last 30 days. I guess that you’ll find many things you no longer want.
Most companies search for ways to make your shopping experience easier, and this can be a bad thing if we’re able to make purchases without much thought.
Before you buy anything else, use the 30-day rule. The rule goes like this: Write it down somewhere before purchasing any item. For the next 30 days, decide if this item is worth buying.
If after day 30 you still want to buy this item, do it. This strategy won’t prevent all bad purchases, but it’ll help prevent a large amount.
How To Save Money Each Month?
Don’t rely on motivation to help you make good financial choices.
The truth is you won’t always have the motivation to save money. Because you’re human, you will make mistakes along the way. The solution is to automate as much of the savings process as possible.
Use an automatic budget to save money automatically. This system isn’t foolproof, but it’ll help you save more efficiently. As you save money, keep track of your progress.
Use resources that’ll help you stay focused. Listen to motivational podcasts and read books. Fill your mind with knowledge and motivation to save money and never to give up.
Focusing Only On Saving Will Cost You
Saving money is only half the battle–maybe even less.
Spend a big part of your energy growing your income instead. The best way to do this is by starting your own side hustle. For many, this turns out to be their full-time job in a few years. But don’t focus only on the money, but on providing value to others.
Many entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed, like Michael Ventura, preach about providing value. Because these entrepreneurs focused on providing value, their businesses are thriving today. Pick a problem you’re obsessed about fixing and get to work.
Do you hate how most websites look? Focus on providing quality website design services.
Dislike what most logos look like? Create a business that creates the best logos for a specific niche.
You’ll provide a better solution if you’re obsessed with the problems you’re solving. Not only will you feel fulfilled, but you’d run a business generating a high income.
It’s Never Too Late To Save
Imagine saving more money than you’ve ever thought possible.
It wasn’t because of a generic budgeting technique you’d learned. It was because you stopped giving excuses and got to work.
The only person holding you back from saving is you. Ask others about their money beliefs and be intentional. Don’t wish to save more–find out why you’re trying to save and create a plan to make this happen.
And don’t settle with your current income. Aim to provide more value to others with your side hustle. You’ll feel better and have more money to save.
So, will you continue to give excuses or finally start saving more?